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Wood Fence FAQ | FAQ INDEX
If I have a 5-7 year old 6' wooden fence (in good condition) and thinking about relocating part of the fence--is it worth it to try to salvage the current post or just to purchase new ones?

We usually replace the posts because the price of new posts is not that much and we would not like the unsightly splices by 'scabbing' on an extended post. However there are times when adding an extension is more economical.

One such case would be, if the post is in a sidewalk or concrete pad. It is expensive to jack hammer the old post out and the concrete will never be the same. If a post must be extended, here are some ideas.

We use 1/4" thick x 4" x 4" galvanized steel plates that have holes predrilled in the corners (before galvanizing to avoid rust). Install two plates on opposite sides of the post, on sides that are least conspicuous, depending on the style of the fence. We prefer that these plates do not show anymore than necessary. We bolt the extension on with galvanized lag bolts. This splice will hold until 'the cows come home'. See Fig. 1.

Another method is to face the 4 x 4 post on four sides with your choice of wood. Use 1" x 6" ripped to fit around the post. A spacer/nailer 4 x 4 must be inserted as an extension to nail the face boards into. This method also gives a 'beefier' look to the post. It will measure 5" x 5", if you use 3/4" thick wood (actual size of a 1x6) as face boards. See Fig. 2 above.

We use these 'face' boards even on new construction to make posts bigger, or to face off a treated pine post with cedar to match the rest of the cedar fence. The top of the posts need capped with a 2 x 6 and finial to give the fence some style.

The photo shows a post 'faced' with cedar with a 1 x 6 cap and ball finial. The actual post is a 4 x 4" (actual size 3 1/2" x 3 1/2") with 1 x 6 red cedar face boards ripped to the proper widths. This gives a larger appearance post. If this had been an extended post, you would never know it.

One additional note: The fence sections attached to these gate posts actually curve 1/4 circle arch outward over two sections. How did we curve the rails uniformly? Perhaps I'll address that problem when presented with the question.